Less than 10 days after Nevada officially legalized recreational marijuana, the state has issued a state of emergency because the supply is running low.
Gov. Brian Sandoval, R-Nev., issued the state of emergency on Friday. The edict could allow the state to use other means of supplying dealers with marijuana other than the one contained in the law that legalized marijuana.
The state envisioned a system in which liquor wholesalers would supply licensed marijuana dealers with pot. However, there is a catch. Dealers have to get a license, and none have passed the requirements.
“We continue to work with the liquor wholesalers who have applied for distribution licenses, but most don’t yet meet the requirements that would allow us to license them. Even as we attempted to schedule the final facility inspection for one of the applicants this week, they told us their facility was not ready and declined the inspection. As of mid-day Friday, not one distribution license has been issued,” Stephanie Klapstein, a spokesperson for the Nevada Department of Taxation, told USA Today.
Coupled with supply problems, demand has been stronger than anticipated.
“Based on reports of adult-use marijuana sales already far exceeding the industry’s expectations at the state’s 47 licensed retail marijuana stores and the reality that many stores are running out of inventory, the Department must address the lack of distributors immediately,” Klapstein said in a statement. “Some establishments report the need for delivery within the next several days.”
The state not only has customers in mind, but its bottom line as well.
A 15 percent tax on the cultivation of marijuana generates revenue that the state spends on public education.
“A halt in this market will lead to a hole in the state’s school budget,” said Klapstein.
The Department of Taxation indicated that the state of emergency is no substitute for a workable system.
“The business owners in this industry have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to build facilities across the state,” the Department of Taxation’s statement said. “They have hired and trained thousands of additional employees to meet the demands of the market. Unless the issue with distributor licensing is resolved quickly, the inability to deliver product to retail stores will result in many of these people losing their jobs and will bring this nascent market to a grinding halt.”
Nevada approved legalizing recreational pot in November through a state referendum.
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